Inside Sonoma State University’s Person Theater, hundreds of K-8 students from the Roberts Family Development Center fidgeted in their seats while echoing a familiar phrase. “G-O-O-D M-O-R-N-I-N-G, good morning, good morning, good morning,” chanted the students in unison, following the mulitude of instructors at the front of the stage. The theater full of enthusiastic students signaled the university’s annual hosting of the RFDC for “I am the Future Day” to give future generations a taste of college life.
The students were treated to lunch at The Kitchens, the student cafeteria, activities with faculty and staff, including dance battles, bounce houses and dodgeball, as well as a speech from Vice President of Student Affairs Greg Sawyer. “Higher education levels the playing field for all of us,” said Sawyer, “But no matter what you can always act better, be better and do better every day to make your family, school, or anywhere that you go for sanctuary, proud.”
RFDC serves mainly low-income families who are not in ideal situations to assure quality care and academic support for their children. According to the RFDC, most of the children in the program would be the first in their family to go to college, making the “I am the Future Day” all the more important in planting the idea of higher education within their future goals.
Sonoma State has made diversity and inclusivity a top priority, including supporting initiatives and programs with the message that everyone has the potential to attend a university. This is represented in SSU’s recent recognition as a Hispanic Serving Institution last year.
“As a campus, we believe in access, affordability and excellence in public education,” said Provost Lisa Vollendorf. “The RFDC and SSU program is a great opportunity for Sonoma State to welcome future seawolves and give these younger students a chance to experience life on a college campus.”